What is it that comes to the mind when one speaks of Russia? Nesting dolls, icon paintings, fur caps, Russian writers, the list is endless. But Russian culture is much more than all of these put together. Russian culture is about the people living here, their food, their customs and traditions, and their language. Here are just some of the things that form part and parcel of the Russian culture.
Russian Language: The Russian language finds its roots in the East Slavic group of the Indo European language. The Russian language is the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world. It is not only the language of choice in Russia, but in neighboring countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Gagauz, Moldova, and Ukraine. The Russian language is an interpretation of the Old Slavonic – a language brought by the Old Slavs from Poland. The Old Slavs who settled around the Balkans brave rise to three different types of languages; Eastern, Western and Southern. The Eastern Slavonic serves as a precursor to modern day languages of Ukrainian, Belorussian and Russian.
Although most alphabets look similar to the English alphabets; they differ in pronunciation. For instance, Y / y is pronounced 'oo' as in food and B / b is pronounced w.
The language is so popular that it is one of the official languages of the United Nations and about 153 million people around the world claim Russian, to be their mother tongue.
Russian Traditions: If you were to go to India, you'd be greeted with a warm 'Namaste'. In Japan, you'd be blessed with people bowing to greet you. Every country has a custom and tradition that is unique to them. But nothing can prepare you to understand the rich traditions and customs in Russia. Here, it is not about the individual; the individualistic culture of the west has not seen in yet. Friends and family are very much a part and parcel of everything that an average Russian does. Things in communist USSR did not work in your favor until you had a friend or a family member in the right place. That explains explains why Russians make that extra effort to be friends.
The family too is an important part of the Russian culture. And family does not only mean the husband, wife and their large brood; it includes uncles, aunts, grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, cousins … the list goes on. In fact, there is a distinct name given to each and every relationship and people are not just referred as uncles or aunts.